It has been well said that the “The story of the Book of Acts is of the Lord going up, the Spirit coming down, and the Church going out.” At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down and created a new instrument, the Church.
Peter, the once-cowardly fisherman, put out his net to catch souls—some 3,000 of them. They could not have been saved by Peter’s preaching alone, but by the power of the Spirit.
Pentecost as a day had passed, but Pentecost as an era of the Holy Spirit had begun. The rushing wind was no longer heard, the tongues of fire no longer seen, but the post-Pentecostal church became visible where most the Church is needed: “in the common places and among the cripples” (G. Campbell Morgan). Faced with humanity’s lameness, Spirit-filled disciples offered a new life and a new walk in the name of Jesus.
The world still needs religion that can put men on their feet, give power to overcome disability and send them “leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8) into a place of worship. To such disciples the world, like the cripple, looks expectantly for a cure, but we can give only out of what we have.
The gate “Beautiful” where the miracle took place was, apparently, the best place for begging, and the vantage point the former cripple deserted as he held on to Peter and John. His first walk was to the Temple. The burning questions from men who could not accept the walking miracle before them were: “How did you do this? What power have you got or whose name did you use?” The authorities had simply given Peter an opening to reaffirm that there is no other name, nor power by which people may be saved.
I know a life that is lost to God,
Bound down by things of earth;
But I know a Name, a precious Name,
That can bring that soul to birth.
The hardening opposition of the worldly Sadducees had but one result: the disciples spoke the word of God with increasing boldness. Earlier the authorities had noted that “these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Behind the human events they saw the hand of a Sovereign Lord. The God who had healed the lame man would, if they remained faithful, heal many others.
Harry Read, Words of Life